Survey: 86% of Bosses Say Digital Transformation Imperative (But 40% Don’t know How)

Survey: 86% of Bosses Say Digital Transformation Imperative (But 40% Don’t know How)
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Bosses in over 20 countries said their organisations see digital transformation as critical, but almost half of that same cohort said they have no strategy in place for it.

The Digital Transformation Survey commissioned by enterprise software vendor IFS examined how senior decision makers view the need for digital transformation, what technologies will drive the transformation, and who owns the area within the company.

Participants were drawn from the industrial manufacturing, construction, retail, oil and gas, automotive, energy and utilities, and other industries. Eighty-six per cent of the respondents thought that digital transformation will play a key role in their market, but 40 per cent lacked a strategy for it.

The buck stops where?

When asked who within the company has responsibility for driving digital transformation, the respondents called out the CIO (40 per cent of the respondents), CEO (39 per cent), and the CFO (35 per cent). The CTO (20 per cent) and the CMO (6 per cent) are not considered as influential in this area.

These results were at odds with other such studies, which might reflect the nature of IFS’s audience — although some aspects of the finding were familiar.

For instance, when the C-suite leaders answered who owns digital transformation, they often pointed at themselves. Fifty-three per cent of the CEOs believed they were responsible, and the corresponding numbers for CFOs and CIOs were 69 per cent and 63 per cent respectively.

Among the other findings:

  • 86 per cent of the respondents said digital transformation will play a key role in their market in the coming five years, and 76 per cent answered that they need more information about digital transformation;
  • Many companies, however, have not come as far when it comes to implementing strategies — 40 per cent of the respondents answered they don’t have a clear strategy for digital transformation.

Technologies driving digital transformation

Participants where also asked to rate several disruptive technologies on their importance in driving digital transformation in the respondents’ industries. The Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, and Cognitive Computing took the top three spots.

According to Mark Boulton, CMO at IFS, “This survey shows that senior leaders of large industries have realised the potential that digital transformation offers, but in many cases haven’t got a strategy in place to leverage it yet.”

He also called out the uncertainty regarding who is actually responsible for driving the digital transformation agenda within companies. “Companies must clarify their goals and outline clear strategies in order to utilise the full potential of digital transformation.”

About the survey:

Almost 500 respondents in 20+ countries were surveyed to gather insights about their thoughts on digital transformation. Respondents include senior decision makers (CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, CFOs, CMOs, etc) from a wide range of industries that IFS works with, including industrial manufacturing, construction and contracting, and retail and wholesale.

This article originally appeared on B&T’s sister business site www.which-50.com

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